Toward new narrative constructions and interactivity in natural history applications

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


The natural history film genre has long played a critical role in the understanding of science and natural history for its audience. The demands of a ratings-based industry that calls for familiar story structure and minimal scientific depth compromise this position of authority. Time constraints and the adherence to passive spectator narratives further inhibits the transmission of factual information. Interactive media formats present opportunities to reconsider the narrative construction and expand natural history films beyond traditional forms. In this paper, I explore how employing innovations of interactive documentaries, video games, and informal learning environments in the design of an interactive natural history application can remove the current limitations associated with traditional wildlife film and promote deeper scientific understanding.


The attached supplement is an archived version of Wild-I: American Bison, a website that is part of the student's thesis project and was originally available from Summary: Wild-I: American Bison brings you closer to bison than you have ever been before. Explore this iconic species in a new light through the interactive story of its natural history.



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